COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Oct. 30, 2012) – Hurricane Sandy victims in Fruitful Vale and Norwich in Portland, Jamaica, were relieved when a caravan of containers and trucks maneuvered past downed power lines and debris to bring them emergency relief assistance on Sunday, Oct. 28. YB Afraid Foundation and Food For The Poor partnered to bring the critically needed supplies to approximately 700 people in urgent need of assistance.
YB Afraid, Yohan Blake’s foundation, made a monetary donation that was matched by Food For The Poor, and assisted in the delivery of food, WATA brand water bottles, mattresses, blankets, and shoes to soaked Hurricane Sandy victims. In November, Blake will lead Food For The Poor’s 5K Walk/Run For Hunger in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Proceeds from the 5K Walk/Run will raise money to purchase food to feed destitute families in the Caribbean and Latin America.
The presence of the 28 Food For The Poor staff members and volunteers wearing the charity’s and YB Afraid Foundation shirts offered residents comfort and hope.
“No other organization has come in to help since the passage of the hurricane,” said Kedine White, a Fruitful Vale resident. “This is the first form of help we are getting, I am truly appreciative and I know the other residents are too.”
In Portland, many residents reported having the roofs of their homes ripped off, and creeping ocean flood waters seeping in around windows and doors, filling homes with mud. The hurricane strength wind gusts and merciless rain bands have magnified the need for safe, permanent housing in Jamaica.
"My daughter and I were badly affected by the Hurricane,” said White. “I am so thankful to Food For The Poor for the help, especially the mattress, because we have been sleeping on a damp bed since the hurricane and my daughter's asthma has been acting up ever since. Now we have somewhere dry to sleep at night."
The storm's aftermath will be difficult for the island's farmers who report that ripe fruit was stripped from trees, banana trees were flattened, and pepper plants submerged in mud. Many impoverished Jamaicans rely on the land for food, as they cannot afford to purchase food items. Once the fallen fruit has been eaten, many will face malnutrition.
“The storm did a lot of damage in Portland,” said Blake. “A lot of people are suffering without shelter or even food to eat. I am glad to be in a position to help. Through my foundation's partnership with Food For The Poor and WATA on this project we are able to make a positive difference in the lives of those suffering."
Storm relief items from Food For The Poor-Jamaica’s warehouse in Kingston are being distributed and additional containers are expected to arrive soon. The most urgent need now is for cash donations so that food supplies can be replenished, and new homes can be built to prevent any more deaths from landslides.
Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.